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Finnish Power Needs to Rise 40% for Russian Supply, Broker Says

Electricity prices in Finland would need to rise more than 40 percent to trigger imports from Russia, according to power broker Energiameklarit Oy.

“Finnish power prices probably need to climb close to 60 euros ($78.42) a megawatt-hour before they trigger imports from Russia,” Energiameklarit Managing Director Esko Kytoemaeki said today by e-mail from Kankaanpaeae, Finland.

Exports from Russia to Finland slumped 63 percent to 2.8 terawatt-hours from January through August, mainly because Russia levies a capacity tariff of 25 to 30 euros a megawatt-hour on power exports for peak-load demand hours, Risto Lindroos, leading expert at Finnish grid operator Fingrid Oyj, said on Sept. 21. Russia shipped as much as 12 terawatt-hours a year to Finland from 2003 to 2011, according to data from the Finnish Energy Industries association.

“The drop in power exports from Russia to Finland is permanent, pushing Finnish prices somewhat higher than the Nordic average,” Jussi Maekelae, a SKM Market Predictor AS analyst in Helsinki, said today by e-mail. “The Finnish supply-demand balance for the winter will be clearly more squeezed than it has been before, increasing the risk for price spikes.”

Electricity for baseload delivery in western Russia cost 25.30 euros a megawatt-hour on average this month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Finnish power cost 38.33 euros for the same period, according to information from the Nord Pool Spot AS exchange in Oslo.

A structural dependence on imports combined with reduced supplies from Russia will also break the traditional correlation between prices for Finland and Sweden’s Stockholm area during the colder November-to-March period, Maekelae said.

“Finnish power will probably cost more than in Stockholm, due to the chronic dependence on imports,” he said,

Finland will need to ship in as much as 1,900 megawatts, or 12.5 percent of domestic demand, to secure the power balance during cold snaps over the next four to five months, the country’s Energy Market Authority said on Oct. 15.

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